Call for Proposals: Graduate Student Research on Poverty, Inequality and Democracy

Event Date: 

Friday, May 24, 2019 - 5:00pm


Application deadline: May 24, 2019 at 5PM PST.

The UCSB Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development is part of a ten-campus network of centers committed to research, teaching, and action to address poverty in the United States and worldwide. The UCSB Blum Center approaches poverty as a problem of democracy. Our work focuses on how recent decades of deepening socio-economic inequality have weakened democratic capacities and commitments, and how democracy can be mobilized to reverse these corrosive trends.

To support emerging new scholarship and encourage cross-campus collaboration on these and related themes, the UCSB Blum Center invites proposals for short-term research funding from University of California graduate students working on projects that contribute to understanding rising levels of socio-economic inequality in relation to democratic practices, policies, institutions, and norms. Proposals are invited from students across the disciplines, and particularly from students affiliated with UC departments and programs in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Projects may be historical or contemporary, and may focus on any geographically defined area in the world, including within the U.S. and/or California.

Successful applicants will receive up to $3,000 to support eligible research expenses, such as travel and related expenses to conduct fieldwork and/or archival research, data acquisition, interview transcription, and software/supplies directly associated with their research. Funds will be provided in the form of authorized direct purchase and/or reimbursements for approved expenses, and must be expended between July 1 and December 31, 2019. Funds may not be used to cover the costs of tuition, fees or insurance; student salaries; travel to conferences or trainings; or non-expendable equipment. Award recipients will also participate in two research meetings at UCSB—at the beginning and toward the end of the funding period (specific dates/times TBD)—at which they will present and receive feedback on their research plans and work in progress. Participants will be reimbursed for travel to/from their home campuses for these meetings. Award recipients will also be expected to submit a brief final report on their use of funds and research progress.


Applicants must have registered student status, both at the time of application and for the duration of the funding period. Doctoral students must have advanced to PhD candidacy by the application deadline. ** NB: Students requesting funds to support research requiring Human Subjects review must provide verification of Institutional Review Board approval at the time of submitting the proposal.

To Apply

Applicants must send the application materials listed below in a single PDF document to Joanne Nowak (, Blum Center Academic Coordinator, by May 24th, 2019 at 5PM PST.

 • The proposal cover sheet (click here to download the cover sheet) **Note (Perm # refers to Student Identification Number in the cover sheet)

 • A brief project description (maximum 750 words) discussing the project’s objectives, central theoretical and research questions, approach and methodology, contributions to the field, and relevance to the themes outlined in the call for proposals (CFP)

 • A detailed budget

 • A curriculum vitae (no longer than 2 pages)

 • A letter of reference from the applicant’s faculty graduate advisor indicating support for the proposed research and verification of advancement to candidacy

 • Verification of IRB approval (if required).


All proposals will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary faculty committee convened by the UCSB Blum Center Director. Decisions will be announced by mid-June.